Eight new Softails weren’t enough, so here’s one more in Harley’s march toward 100 new motorcycles by 2027 – the FLSB Sport Glide makes it nine. Harley-Davidson pictures this one as “a quick-change artist, an aggressive factory-custom cruiser outfitted with a detachable fairing and saddlebags ideally suited for touring, cruising or commuting.”

The mini-batwing fairing might be the most novel thing going on here; the bike’s designers wanted to hit a sweet spot between protection and style, and it looks like they erred on the side of style. It’s supposed to keep the wind off your chest while it leaves your head in the breeze. You have the option to exchange the standard 1.5-inch-high windshield for a 5.5-inch light smoke.

Harley-Davidson Bringing Back the Sport Glide

Other Harleys have bikini fairings, but this is the first use of the shrunken batwing. H-D thinks it might cause the Sport Glide be a gateway to riders who kind of gravitate FL but aren’t quite ready for the full touring rig quite yet – the Big Twin equivalent of a training bra. The Sport Glide represents Harley’s idea of a sport-tourer, really, and as such Harley’s Product Planner Paul James thinks it will have great appeal in Europe. I think he’s right, especially now that it’s packing Harley’s Milwaukee 8 107 V-Twin. Also because electronic cruise control is standard on this one.

Easily removable yet unobtrusive lockable hard bags as standard equipment also say “take me somewhere nice this weekend big daddy.” A baby shock absorber keeps them from slamming open and closed. Combined capacity is supposedly 1.9 cubic feet.

That smooth and powerful dual-counterbalanced engine sits in the common frame it shares with the other eight new Softails, differing from most of them in that it gets a 43mm inverted fork – and a remote-preload adjustable shock out back controlling its narrow swingarm and 16-inch rear wheel. Though it’s called Sport Glide, the H-D people say its lean angle is really no sportier than the other new Softails, all of which are vastly better at leaning over than the previous generation. Suspension travel is 5.1 and 3.4 inches, F and R.

Sport also refers to those new “Mantis” wheels, H-D’s first directional wheels that don’t require you to buy a CVO. The front’s an 18 x 3.5-inch and the rear’s a 16 x 5. We’ll see if a single 300mm front disc/ four-piston caliper is enough to get the job done when Herr Duke files his first ride report very shortly. The rear’s a 292mm/ two-piston setup.

A narrower left-side primary cover adds to the sportiness also, making for an easier reach to the pavement for your left leg. On the other side, there’s a sporty two-into-one exhaust system.

Leave the quick-release bags and fairing behind when you wanna and this is what you’re left with. The Daymaker headlight is surrounded by LEDs.

Graceful and minimal, the most functional nod to modern times is the electronic cruise control button on the left handlebar. That’s a 5-gallon tank.

At Harley, not low is a no-go, and the Sport Glide seat is said to be a mere 26.5 inches before you sit on it and reach down to adjust your ride height with the remote preload adjuster, which will be nice after you add the optional sissy bar, Tour Pak, and hot mama.

While you’re adding genuine parts and accessories and the economy is booming, you could add a Stage I Street Cannon muffler or just go full crazy with a Stage IV 114-inch upgrade. Why not?

Everything else is in place already, including standard ABS and like I already mentioned twice, cruise control. You’ll have to come up with $18,599 for a black Sport Glide, and a bit more for a Twisted Cherry or Silver Fortune one. They should be in dealers very shortly, says H-D. In fact there’s already at least one in SoCal, which Duke Danger is probably riding while you’re reading this. Keep an eye peeled for his First Ride ASAP.

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  • Kevin Butler

    Keep them coming Harley !!!

  • Buzz

    Kind of a modernized version of the former FXR Tour Glide, no?

    • Gary Latessa

      No. The FXRT is what this bike should be. But fails.

  • Goose

    After going through a cycle of excited, learning more and being disappointed in the new Softails I’ll say I’m cautiously optimistic. This is getting closer to what will get my money. Two questions:
    1. How big are the saddlebags?
    2. Will that single disc work on a steep down hill with two people and some weight in the bags and (hopefully) a top box?

    I understand why Harley makes the single disc standard but why can’t a second disc be an option, even if dealer installed?

    P.S. Harley, make the 114″ a factory option, not dealer installed.

    • Alaskan18724

      Directly on point. Platform looks good. + Detachable bags. + Removable mini fairing. – Single disc. At least make a dual disc front optional. They’ve got it in stock….

      • JAORE

        I’d love to have mid controls too. Yes, it would require a higher seat. But 26.5 inches is WAY low. Can’t Harley understand that many people think 29-30 inch seat height is normal, even low?
        Now, with the second disc as noted you’d have much better stopping power and greater lean angle.

        • Goose

          Correct on the pegs. Should be an easy fix but should be a no cost option at time of purchase to get mid-mount pegs and a higher seat.
          Oh well, at least they got rid of the stupid double muffler on the Low Rider.

    • Richard Jensen

      Couldn’t agree more on the single front disc – although unlike you I cannot understand how or why Harley insists on fitting under spec brakes (OK styling is a big thing but so is being able to stop from speed and/or down a long hill). What is it with HD that they think a heavy bike plus passenger and luggage can be stopped by something usually only found on 300cc bikes (they made the same stupid mistake with the Switchback). The rest of it looks good but seems like I will have to wait another year.

      • Goose

        Having been riding from the era of drum brakes to a bike with “Del Oro” 320 MM double Brembos I assure a good single disc or even a drum can stop a bike ONCE*. The problem is they can’t dissipate the heat and the second or third or whatever stop, not the first. If you only care about one stop a single disc will work. That is probably how Harley looks at the single front disc.

        *Back in the late eighties a friend got some exotic caliper on his R100GS. Most of my riding buddies had the big GS back then ’cause we were doing what is now called adventure touring. The bikes were good, in their day, but had weak front brakes. Anyway, Kevin was the king until about halfway down this mountain. After he managed to get stopped with only his rear brake his front disc was dark, dark blue, nearly black. I don’t know stainless enough to know how hot that was is degrees but it was very, very hot. Apparently hot enough to boil fresh DOT4 fluid.

        But, the bottom line remains this bike should have duals or, at a minimum, an option for duals for those of us who ride outside the city and mellow puts on gently curving, level roads, only using the brakes hard (once) if a tractor pulls in front of them.

        • Richard Jensen

          Agree 100%. A single disc is OK for a single stop and ‘normal’ riding. Anything more and dual discs are the only way to go. Even more so on a relatively heavy bike – especially with pillion and gear on board. The bikes get faster (which is good – anyone who has spent time on earlier Harleys in countries where you can travel a bit faster would know what I mean) but the brakes stay the same (or get worse – Low Rider goes from dual disc to single disc). Maybe Harley haven’t heard of brake fade – although (styling issues aside) I can’t help thinking there is some penny pinching going on here as well.
          After the Switchback, which was effectively ruined by a poor front end, single disc (and a few other issues), you would think Harley would have realised that a touring/sport (Harley sport, not talking R1’s here) bike would need decent brakes.
          Dollars over safety – never a good thing. Their loss – I’m not buying this one.

    • Kevin Duke

      I rode the bike yesterday and am writing a report to be published tomorrow.

      1. Bags are 1.9 cubic feet combined – kinda small.
      2. I didn’t have the opportunity to try that test, but I can say the brakes are pretty decent while ripping canyons solo.

      Also, the 107 motor is so good that I didn’t find myself wanting for the extra power offered by the 114, even at 5000+ feet of elevation.

      • Goose

        Thanks, very useful. If I’m on the beam that is 53 liters, probably great for solo (my solo bike has very old Givi 28 liter bags and works well) but too small for two-up touring.

        In spite of what many people think you’re probably correct on the brakes, fine for most people most of the time. The saddlebags take it off my list so the brakes are, for me, moot anyway.

        I’ve ridden the 107, it is a great motor. I guess the 114 is just the red blooded American in me, more is always better (until it isn’t). Scrap the 427! I’ve got a 454!

  • StripleStrom

    I like this! If I ever decide to go back to cruisers, this one will get a serious look. Looks are great, has some decent luggage capacity for commuting… nice.

  • Gary Latessa

    If Harley was serious about a sport tourer, this bike would have a real fairing, bags styled to with the bike and painted to match. Not to mention more not less suspension. this bike will fail just like the FXDXT.

  • Gabriel Owens

    I like it, but that price tag.

  • SRMark

    I really like the look but I don’t see $19k worth of stuff there.

    • HazardtoMyself

      The tank badging is worth at least $5k. It’s 24k white gold trim don’t ya know.

    • Born to Ride

      I saw it, wanted to hate it, looked at it, realized that I liked it, then saw the price. F**k off Harley…

  • Jerry Gaona

    Switch Back replacement. I like it. I’d trade my ‘14 Heritage in on it. I loved the new Fat Bob but wanted a little more touring capability so I can carry my samich and Red Bull to work. This Sport Glide would do the trick

    • Born to Ride

      So would a Fat Bob with a milk crate bungeed on the back seat. You’d get an extra inch of suspension travel, 100% more brakes up front, and for less money.

      • Jerry Gaona

        True that, I might need to rethink this. I’m getting old so I think I’m liking the more relaxed nature of this Sport Glide…. but I do love that Fat Bob

  • JMDGT

    Single disk up front WTFO?

    • Born to Ride

      Harley gonna Harl bruh.

    • mikstr

      no worries, it won’t get used anyhow, lol

  • Alaskan18724
    • Alaskan18724

      It suddenly occurred to me….

  • Kevin Duke